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Section 27 - Black Horse Gap (USFS 186) to Daleville (US 220) Displayed from North to South

Maintained by:
  Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club http://www.ratc.org/ RATCHikemaster @ gmail.com Black Horse Gap to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter, and US 460 at the New River to VA 611 Black Horse Gap to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter, and US 460 at the New River to VA 611

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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles  Map   &  
 Weather  
Source
0.0
Black Horse Gap (USFS 186)
   Poor           Great



 
Black Horse Gap is at Mile 97.7 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is 6.8 miles south of the junction of the Parkway and VA 43 westbound to Buchanan. It is 8.3 miles north of the intersection with US 460. While there is a sign for the gap, there is also an equestrian crossing sign which shows a diagram of a rider on a black horse. Assuming you are traveling southbound on the Parkway, there is parking space on the left (2-3 cars) with additional parking for a like number on the right at the intersection with USFS 186 (Old Fincastle Road). Do not block any roads or gates. See the last two pictures for Section 26 and the first two pictures for this section (27). Note: People who wish to park overnight should be aware of the following from the Blue Ridge Parkway FAQ page.
Anyone wishing to leave a vehicle in an overlook for approved camping/hiking purposes must contact the Comm Center (828-298-2491) either the day before or the morning of their excursion to advise detailed information regarding their excursion and vehicle.
Rotate the street view from the point of the marker to the north to see Old Fincastle Road. Walk up this road a short distance to the AT crossing. There the northbound AT to Section 26 goes to the right towards Bearwallow Gap. The southbound trail to Section 27 goes left towards Salt Pond Road and eventually Daleville. 07/11/19 4-6 roadside
  1

  1

David Cullen
5.8
Salt Pond Road - USFS 191 Direct Access
   Poor           Great



 
Direct access to the trail crossing MIGHT be available via this route. Follow US 11 about 3 miles north of Troutdale, then go right on VA 640. In 0.9 miles VA 640 goes left. Continue right (straight ahead) on VA 711. In another 0.9 miles VA 711 bear left. Go right (straight ahead) on Salt Pond Road (USFS 191). In about 3.8 miles (5.6 miles total from US 11, the road makes a sharp turn from northeast to south. The trail crossing is here. Very limited parking (1 car) roadside. The ATC interactive map shows parking here, but that parking is poor at best. Directions above are based on the attached Google map. The marker indicates the AT crossing of Salt Pond Road. GPS: N37.4161 W79.8196 The AT Guide to Central Virginia (3rd edition, 2014) says that direct access to the trail crossing on Salt Pond Road is possible via this route. When I was there (2007), there were some tire marks indicating some vehicle traffic. I have not driven there myself but a 2008 report described the drive as "an adventure". The road is narrow with brush crowding in from the sides and parts of it are rocky. The section from Fulhardt Knob Fire Road (See Mile 7.7) to the AT crossing is especially bad. The person who did drive it had a high clearance vehicle and says the road would not be suitable for a regular passenger car. See next listing for a 2011 road report.
At this crossing the northbound trail goes north downhill. The southbound trail goes south climbing some wood steps. There are pictures of the crossing both on the Google Map and in the Pictures for this section (27). 07/22/08 Updated 07/12/19
1 car
  1

  1

David Cullen
Same as previously posted. The turn onto Salt Pond Road from VA 711 is clearly marked with a brown Forest Service sign.
Editor's Note (2019): Any more recent information on the condition of this road would be appreciated. Hikers, please help.
I drove Salt Pond Road in a high clearance 2-wheel-drive cargo van and parked at the AT crossing a few days after a significant rain and had no problem. However I would describe the section beyond Fullhardt Knob fire road as borderline for an ordinary passenger car - the decision to drive it really depends on your patience and nerves--I drove very slowly and could easily find a track that avoided hazards such as rocks: The road is rocky, meaning rocks sticking up several inches, that could potentially strike the oil pan of low clearance vehicles. But the day I drove it was the second day of Muzzle-loader deer hunting season and there were half a dozen vehicles using the road or parked along it (4 at the Fullhardt knob fire road junction). One of these was a nearly new Accura, which did not venture beyond the Fullhardt Knob fire road. 11/19/11 1 or 2
 

 

PJWetzel @ gmail.com
5.8
Salt Pond Road Crossing via Curry Gap
   Poor           Great




If you are willing to walk an extra mile, this route provides a less stressful access to the trail crossing of Salt Pond Road than the direct access route below. Salt Pond Road crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway in Curry Gap at Mile 101.5 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is no sign for Curry Gap or Salt Pond Road, but there is a sign with an equestrian crossing logo just before the intersection.This is 4.5 miles north of the intersection of US 460 and the parkway. Salt Pond Road is gated in both directions. There is limited parking roadside. Do not block any gates or roads. The red marker indicates the road crossing in Curry Gap. Rotate from this point to see the parking situation in the gap. GPS N37.40625 W79.81733 Note. Anyone wishing to park overnight should be aware of the BRP notification rule. See Mile 0.0. Hike north along Salt Pond Road 1.1 miles to reach the AT. This would be the road to the left if driving northbound on the parkway. The parkway is running west to east here. Salt Pond Road climbs steadily uphill but at a gradual grade. When I hlked it the road had been graded, but it was very narrow and trees and brush were crowding in from the sides. It appears this stretch from the Parkway to the AT crossing gets very little, if any, vehicle traffic. The AT crossing of Salt Pond Road is at the green marker on the attached map.GPS: N37.4161 W79.81965 This is at the top of the climb. Here the southbound trail goes left up a set of steps while the northbound trail goes right , soon beginning a long descent into the valley of Curry Creek. There are pictures of the crossing associated with the map and also in the Pictures for this section (27). 07/12/19 3-4 roadside
  1

  1

David Cullen
Since parking is so limited at Curry Gap, you might want to consider The Quarry Overlook. This would certainly be better for long term parking. The Overlook is at mile 100.9 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, 0.6 miles north (compass east) of Curry Gap. It is on the right side of the road if heading northbound on the parkway. GPS:N37.6060 W79.8073 Consult the map attached to the Curry Gap listing (above). The overlook can be seen on the satellite view. There is a marker designating its position. The area of the overlook can be seen if you rotate the street view from the point of that marker. Anyone wishing to park overnight should be aware of the BRP notification rule. See Mile 0.0. Walk back along the parkway for 0.6 miles to Curry Gap (Mile 101.5). Go right (north) on Salt Pond Road and proceed as decribed in the previous listing. Note: If you wish to submit a Parking Safety contribution at this mile marker, please specify whether it is for Curry Gap or The Quarry Overlook. 07/12/19 15-20
 

 

David Cullen
7.7
Fulhardt Knob Fire Road
   Poor           Great



 
Access to the AT MIGHT be available via this route. Follow US 11 about 3 miles north of Troutdale, then go right on VA 640. In 0.9 miles VA 640 goes left. Continue right (straight ahead) on VA 711. In another 0.9 miles VA 711 bear left. Go right (straight ahead) on Salt Pond Road (USFS 191). In about 2 miles (5.6 miles total from US 11d Road for about 3 miles from VA 640. Salt Pond Road makes a sharp turn here from southwest to northeast. An old road goes right. This is Fullhardt Knob Fire Road. There is no sign. See Pictures for this section (27) to see this intersection. This point is indicated by the marker on the attached map. GPS: N37.4033 W79.8399 Three might be room for 2-3 cars to park here. Directions were derived from the Google map.

Hikers please let us know if you know anything about the current condition of Salt Pond Road.
I have not driven this route myself but see the previous listing (Mile 5.8 Salt Pond Road Direct Access) for caveats about this road from people who did. The part up to the intersection with the Fulhardt Knob is (was) apparently not too bad. To reach the trail, walk up the fire road. In a few feet dirt has been piled up to prevent vehicle access. The AT is uphill 0.15 miles along the road. A trace of this route is shown on the map. Here the northbound AT goes left. The southbound AT goes straight ahead on Fullhardt Knob Fire Road. There is a picture of this intersection in the Pictures for this section (27) GPS at AT intersection: N37.4018 W79.8410 07/22/08 2-3 roadside
  1

  1

David Cullen
11.5
VA 652 (Mountain Passs Rd.)
   Poor           Great




No parking here Any possible parking area at the crossing is festooned with No Parking signs. It might be possible be use it as a quick drop-off point. From I-81 Take Exit 150 (specifically 150 B, I believe) to merge onto US 220 going south. At the intersection with US 11 go left. In 0.6 miles, go right on VA 653. In another 0.8 miles go left on Mountain Pass Road (VA 652) and proceed 0.4 miles to the trail crossing. This is indicated by the marker on the attached map. GPS:N37.39925 W79.88525 Rotate the street view on the map from the point of the marker to see the vicinity of the trail. The view from east to south shows the northbound trail. The view to the north shows the southbound trail as it goes around a gate and starts to follow a farm road. 11/27/2009 Updated 07/13/19 0
  1

  1

David Cullen
12.1
US 11
   Poor           Great




Take Exit 150 (150B, I believe) and merge onto US 220 southbound. The the intersection with US 11, go left on US 11 for 1.2 miles to the trail crossing, Troutville is 0.8 miles further north on US 11. There is s a hiker parking lot on the east side of US 11 a couple of hundred feet south of the crossing. There is a small sign with the AT logo at the parking area but more obvious is a large "Welcome to the Town of Troutville" sign. The red marker on the attached map indicates the actual trail crossing of US 11.GPS at trail crossing: N37.4041 W79.8898 The street view to the east from this point shows the northbound trail towards Black Horse Gap. The view to the west shows the southbound trail heading for Daleville.. The south view shows US 11 southbound with the entrance to the parking area visible on the left. The parking area is indicated by the green marker on the map. It can also be seen in the satellite view. GPS of parking area: N37.4037 W79.8899 07/13/19 6-8
  1

  1

David Cullen
12.4
Valley Road (VA 779) East Junction
   Poor           Great



 
Option 1: From the point where VA 779 (Valley Road) goes east from US 220 proceed 1.1 miles to the I-81 overpasses. Cross under them. This point is just on the other side.
Option 2: From the intersection of US 220 and US 11 jut off Exit 150B, go 1.3 miles north on US 11 to the intersection with VA 779. Turn left here and go about 0.5 miles to the overpasses. Here the northbound AT leaves Valley Road. This point is indicated by the marker on the attached map.GPS:N374047 W79.8949 Rotate the street view from this point to the east to see the northbound AT. The view to the west shows the route of the southbound AT as it follows Valley Road under the overpasses. This walking route is shown on the map.
There does not appear to be any viable parking here, so this should be considered only a drop-off point. 07/14/19 Probably 0
  1

  1

David Cullen
12.5
Valley Road (VA 779) West Junction
   Poor           Great



 
Option 1: From the point where VA 779 (Valley Road) goes east from US 220 in Daleville proceed 1.1 miles to the I-81 overpasses. This point is just before the overpasses.
Option 2: From the intersection of US 220 and US 11 jut off Exit 150B, go 1.3 miles north on US 11 to the intersection with VA 779. Turn left here and go about 0.6 miles to the overpasses. Cross under them. This point is just on the other side.
This point is indicated by the white circle on the attached map at Mile 12.4. This is the western end of the walking route shown under the overpasses. The street view from this point to the east shows the southbound AT going to the right up a steep set of steps. The northbound trail follows the road under the overpasses.
There does not appear to be any viable parking here. Since there is only a very narrow shoulder it is not even a good drop-off point. It is being included only for completeness of access points. The GPS coordinates here are N37.40475 W79.8961 07/14/19 Definitely 0
 

 

David Cullen
13.6
Daleville--Trail Cossing of US 220
   Poor           Great



 
Trail crossing of US 220 is about 0.5 miles northwest of Exit 150 of I-81, about 10 miles north of Roanoke. Parking at the crossing is limited to non-existent, but see next listing for a possibility. Nearest parking area is a Park-and-Ride lot located on US 220 about 0.2 miles south of the crossing at junction with VA 816. See below. It can be seen on the satellite view of the attached map. The AT crossing of US 220 is indicated by the marker on the attached map. GPS:N37.3937 W79.9063 Rotate the street view from this point to the east to see the northbound trail to Section 27 entering a strip of woods just north of what in 2018 were Pizza Hut and GB gas station. Rotate to the west to see the southbound trail to Section 28 leaving from the parking lot of what in 2018 was Liberty Cleaners. 07/14/19 Probably 0
  1

 

David Cullen
The Valley Cleaners on US220-S (the business adjacent to where NB exits the woods and prepares to cross the road) are extremely friendly and had zero problem with me parking my car (in the shade!!) for a couple of nights. You never know until you ask! There is ample room for quite a few vehicles - I only had the one, so it's hard to say how willing they would be for a caravan to stay, but they were extremely easy-going. 05/07/18
 

 

audreymw @ dukes.jmu.edu
13.6
US 220/VA 816 Parking Lot
   Poor           Great




Use Exit 150B off I-81. Follow signs for US 220 N. Shortly after clearing the maze of the interchange (worse if coming northbound) look for the parking area on the left. At the north edge of the lot VA 816 goes left and winds around the back side of the lot. The marker indicates the position of the lot. GPS N37.3908 W79.9063 While there is ample parking, it is a very popular place for commuters to park. The actual trail crossing is about 0.2 miles further north on US 220. See above. Rotate the street view from the point of the marker to see the parking area. To reach the northbound trail to Section 27 follow the highway north. The same can be done for the southbound trail to Section 28. Alternatively an unmarked trail leaves from the northwest corner of the lot. It is 0.2 miles long and meets the AT at Mile 0.3. 07/15/19 Ample
  1

 

David Cullen

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